9 things you should know about using prime lenses
1. They make you work harder
With a zoom lens, it's easy to get lazy and zoom in and out, letting the lens do the hard work for you, but a prime lens makes you think about the shot more, forcing you to be more creative.
With few moving parts, prime lenses are more compact and lighter than their zoom siblings - perfect if you want to travel light. That said, some expensive primes with lots of quality glass elements that's matched by a tank-like build quality can be heavy beasts.
3. Bigger is better
The 'fastest' lenses have apertures of f/1.4 or f/1.8 and enable higher shutter speeds and reduced depth of field. This makes them more useful than f/2.8 lenses.
4. Play with light
Invest in a neutral density filter if you want to shoot with large apertures in sunny conditions. This will force the shutter speed to be extended, allowing you to shoot wide-open at f/1.4 or f/1.8 and avoid overexposing the shot.
5. Choose your focal length
Before diving in and getting your prime lens, do your research. You may think you need a 24mm prime, but a quick look at the focal lengths you use most in Lightroom might reveal that in actual fact you tend to shoot more at 28 or 35mm.
6. Close quarters
A macro facility adds versatility, but you'll have to be very close to the object you're shooting with a 50mm lens, and a 35mm is almost unusable.
7. Open wide
When shooting at the maximum aperture with fast f/1.4 lenses, outright sharpness can be a bit lacking in some instances, particularly at the edges of the frame, but this varies from lens to lens.
8. Sitting pretty
A 50mm lens on an APS-C format body is a great combination for portraiture. A maximum aperture of f/1.4 or f/1.8 enables you to blur the background much more effectively than you'd be able to with a budget 18-55mm zoom lens.
9. Investment banking
If your budget can stretch to it, It's a good idea to buy a professional optic, such as a full-frame compatible lens, even if you currently use an APS-C format DSLR. It future-proofs you in case you ever decide to trade up to a full-frame camera later on.